Lessons of 2020
2020 has hit us all in so many ways. There have been so many lessons in 2020. I know people who’s businesses have taken off this year, who have lost their businesses, who landed new jobs and who left their jobs. The one constant has been change. And for me, change also means a whole lot of learning. My belief is that whether good or bad, everything happens for a reason and one of those reasons is so we can learn from it and evolve.
I am lover of lists, so here we go with my top six 2020 lessons and a full break down below as some of these are not what they seem:
- Slow down and in doing so, let yourself feel discomfort.
- Surrender to what is.
- Stay present.
- Stay positive.
- Energy flows where attention goes (use that to your advantage).
- Having these reflections is a privilege
I meditate daily and my Vedic Meditation practice teaches that every time we slow our monkey minds down and are able to transcend and experience no thought, we tap into maximum rest and creativity (to name a few things). Since I started meditating I’ve been an advocate of slowing down in this sense as it’s generated some of the best ideas I’ve ever had and literally changed the way I experience the world.
I’ve also found that when we’re going a million miles an hour, running from place to place, it is close to impossible to be mindful and stay present. And both those things lead to a happier life.
So I had figured those two types of slowing down out, but the one that COVID brought was next level. Another 2020 lesson. I’m talking about the type of slow down that makes you wild inside. That makes you want to kick and scream against it and that when you’re feeling it, nothing you do to try and escape it works. The mother of all slow downs.
Which brings me to number two- Surrender.
I have been able to experience so much joy this year thanks to (for the most part), finally learning to surrender. This means, my external circumstances did not warrant joy, but through the simple act of total surrender, I was able to experience joy. Mind bender, right? Now don’t get me wrong, I am no Master and the act of surrender is a constant exercise. But the more I do it and experience positive results, the easier it becomes.
So much friction arises when things don’t go how we want them too. But once you realize that we are not in charge all the time and that there is something greater, more magical organizing things for us, it becomes easier to trust and let go. An example of this is you don’t get into your number one college pick and have to go to your number four choice. But once you finish college and look back, you realize that you wouldn’t have met your future partner or ended up doing what you love had you gone to your first choice school.
Stuff like this happens all the time. When we can skip being upset and simply trust and surrender, there is way less friction and a whole lot more joy. And this type of approach reallllly comes in handy when the third type of slow down mentioned above happens. You just stop fighting what is and give in. And if that means doing nothing and feeling bored for a couple of days, you do that, knowing and trusting that it’s all for a reason.
Staying present is also a major joy booster. When you’re present, you are just focusing on what is in front of you. And if you have spent enough time listening to your thoughts, then you know that the majority of our thoughts are about the future or past, not going to happen, negative and mostly, a big fat waste of time.
I have done enough thought patrolling that I now know that when I do have a negative thought pop up, it’s a garbage thought and does not warrant any attention. So I say “next” and move on. In a year filled with so much financial uncertainty this has allowed me to enjoy all the good things that are still happening. And without this technique I’d be in a dark hole and the world would look much scarier than it actually is.
This one warrants an explanation. As staying positive all the time and forcing things when one is in a funk is also not healthy. All of us have a dark and light side. One couldn’t exist without the other. And while experiencing lightness and happiness is preferred and feels better, we also have to honor the dark side. Enduring difficult times both teaches us and helps us evolve.
So if we’re in a funk, we want to honor it while still doing everything we can to move through it. Exercise, meditation, eating healthy, listening to music, taking a bath, watching your favorite show, hanging out with friends and having a piece of chocolate are all wonderful tools to boost your mood. Many times they work. But when they don’t I take it as a sign that I have to stay in the funk a little longer. And that’s when I surrender (no. 2!).
Once the funk moves on (sometimes it leaves just as randomly as it comes), staying positive and looking out at the world through a cup half full versus empty is key. An example of cup half full versus empty would be, if someone cuts you off while driving, instead of rolling down your window and screaming A#%@&@*^, you pause and say to yourself, they must be in a big hurry, I hope everything is OK.
And why do this? Because the vibration of positivity is a high one. And if you can stay in a high vibration, chances are you are going to attract good things. Like attracts like. Knowing this has been a game changer and really has helped me stay aware of my thoughts and actions. As Jen Sincero so aptly writes, “Worrying is praying for things you don’t want to happen to you.” Enough said.
Energy + Attention
I’m going to get a little scientific to explain this one. Because of the fact that it can be proven on a scientific level makes it easier for me to envision it and put it into practice. Deepak Chopra, in his book “Creating Affluence”, explains that sub atomic particles (the things that make up atoms which are the building blocks of the Universe) come into existence only when we observe them. Until we observe them, they are just a possibility. It is our attention on them that bring them into existence.
So if you want to build your business and you put a lot of attention on doing that consistently, you will eventually succeed in building your business. Thoughts become things. We can manifest the reality of our choosing. And Science proves this.
The downside of this, is that if we put all of our attention on say for example our spouse and the fact that they can never do anything right around the house, then what do you think happens? We experience more of our spouse not doing things “right” around the house.
Knowing this and understanding how attention affects energy and manifestation has really helped me be mindful and intentional of what I am putting my attention on. Basically, only on things I want more of!
We live in a physical world that runs on money. We need it to eat, have shelter and stay warm. And when things get tough, having savings and money to fall back on or a well paying job makes it easier for us to operate from a place of more awareness and mindfulness. Because when you don’t know how you are going to pay for rent or keep the lights on, you go into straight up survival mode. And in survival mode, it’s hard to be aware and mindful.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the role that money plays in our lives. And how having it, makes it easier to practice these mindfulness techniques that make life more enjoyable. Not to say you can’t practice these things if you don’t have money. It just takes a whole other level of Mastery to do so.
So by having money and a savings to fall back on, you have an advantage. There are millions of people in the world that don’t have this privilege. Many of them, are people of color. Aside from doing everything we can with our gifts to help others and level out the very imbalanced playing field, one of the most important things we can do is to practice these things and in doing so, raise the collective vibration that has ripple effects throughout.
This year has been so different for all of us. I would love to hear your 2020 lessons. Please comment below!